So, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest is indeed an actual video game, and it'll hit tonight as international releases continue to worm their way across the globe. In brief, it's a frantic, distilled, and "mobilized" take on the series that eschews pillars like exploration and dungeon crawling and even dialogue in favor of focusing purely on the series' combat and equipment mechanics and systems.

In the game, you can control up to 30 different classical Final Fantasy heroes across series of fights against classical villains. To attack, you tap on a character or, as we've discovered, just swipe up and down on the screen to activate all of them. After each attack, characters are smacked with a cool down timer, which keeps them from being able to attack for a few seconds.

Every enemy kills with one hit, regardless if it's just a basic Final Fantasy goblin or one of the horseman of the apocalypse. In addition to being flimsy, heroes are one note: they attack, that's it. You can't activate special skills, you can't target enemies, and they can't buff each other.

Boil it down, and the strategy revolves around raw numbers. The design reflects that. As you level up, you gain the ability to take more characters into battle. When you find a weapon, it's magically auto-equipped to every character of that can use it. Also, you can recruit new hero types on a regular basis, expanding your roster.

There's an emphasis on speed, too. Get slack with attacks, and enemies will shred you. A weird method we've been using is a constant circular swipe, as it'll activate every hero as soon as his or her timer refills. Pushing the bar further, every three hours you'll be able to activate a "Fever" attack that nukes your cool downs and lets you go nuts for a short, but effective, length of time.

If you haven't caught on, this definitely isn't the Final Fantasy you know, but there's a lot of the series' touches present. The presentation is old-school Final Fantasy. The enemies and heroes are, too. The simple "save the world" narrative hooks are all present and accounted for, as well as the late title card.

There's some mobile sensibility thrown in for good measure. When a character goes down, a cool down for a replacement starts. At any point, even if you lose your entire party, you can use an hourglass to replace every member. You can buy these in packs of three, if you're into that sort of thing. Also, you can buy classic named heroes via IAP and buy new arenas set in places from old games. Final Fantasy 7's Midgar is one, for example.

Watch the video to see if it clicks. We're still kinda chewing on ATB as a whole, so we don't have a firm opinion on if it's good or not and why. But we do think the game is an interesting one, especially if you've been riding on the Final Fantasy train since the start. There's a lot of like here.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/kbrinks Gemütlichkeit

    Looks really dumb. I'll just stick with the Penny-Arcade RPG.

    I want to see a final fantasy game where two sides clash similar to Shining Force.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JosueF Josue Feliciano

    I don't see the game here. It would have been better served to have you managing some sort of strategy as the characters auto-attack. Swipping circles like a trained monkey does not a game make.

    I love Final Fantasy, but this just looks terribly boring.

  • curtneedsaride

    "Unless I'm missing something, this seems kinda stupid."
    -Eli

    And he nailed it on the head.

  • Ava1on

    Is it possible during an IAP to get a character you already have?

    • http://twitter.com/BrotherStein Jonathan Stein

      No. The details screen on the App Store says you will only get characters you do not already have.

      • Ava1on

        Thank you.

  • chinito77

    Another failed FF cash cow attempt. Like Eli said, this game had so much potential. A strategy game like Dragon Force or War Song would have been nice.

  • http://blucurv.com Ben

    SE, just port Dissidia012 and I'll be happy.

    • Ava1on

      That game barely works with a single analog stick, let alone zero.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scamper Scamper Robinson

    Eli’s quote captures it: “All you gotta do is lick your screen, and all your guys activate.” Not sure this is a game at all. More like… a button.

  • toxiccheese

    So is it a game or not? It seems like all you do is watch and initiate mass attacks with a simple screen swipe? Is there any depth to this?

  • Schpank

    Brain Dead.

  • cofunguy

    What ?? Not 4 stars due to its potential or more likely due to its lameness??

  • TurboRuhland

    "If you like video games, this is a video game."

    Lol.

    If this was free I would definitely at least check it out, but the Coming Tonight post puts it at $2.99? Thanks, but no thanks at that price. Square makes good stuff but sometimes their pricing schemes are a little wacky.

    • Benegesserit

      Always wacky. Even decent ports are a monumental ripoff. When I can get a full well-executed GTA port from Rockstar for pennies on the dollar I'm reminded just how much of a ripoff Square is for everything.

  • http://twitter.com/strangerbeat Red R

    If most of Square's games on iOS are over $15 and this happens to be less than $3, then even THEY know it sucks, sooooo....

    • Benegesserit

      Less that 3? It has a ton of overpriced IAP. Square had never deviated from the rip-off pricing model.

  • http://twitter.com/deathfisaro Ken Lee

    Pros:
    * Extreme nostalgic value for SNES FF fans; that moment when you predict certain monster encounters based on the map and they actually appear, and when you can instantly name the monsters across all those pallet variations.
    * Well balanced without IAP; I'm on the 7th map without dying yet, boss fights have been just the right difficulty so I found myself winning with 5-6 members left most of the time.

    * Collections; bestiary and weapons. Completion OCD? Clicks with me.

    Cons:
    * Overpriced character IAP: $35 to get all characters. Because it's a random draw, it might mean $35 to get the only one character you ever wanted.
    * Overpriced map IAP: $12 for 30 enemies. Add the main game and characters, this game totals at $50. With $50, I can buy Versus or Lightning Returns or whatever on a console...?
    * Oversimplified controls: no need making circles, just use 2 fingers and swipe up and down. Battle ends in 2 seconds.
    * Random roster: you can't customize roster with some clever strategy. All luck based and the game throws you some random rosters like pure thief or pure monk or whatever.
    * No gameplay: very shallow. Get more team size, level up, that's about it besides collecting stuff.

    I see this game as one of those library completing games like Touch Detective Mushroom Garden. Of course it's gonna suck if you're not the right niche. This is a FF game but not an RPG just like how Mario Kart is not a platformer despite being a Mario game.

  • Dreadnok

    Foul seems the air about this so called game, has the dark lord himself Sauron come down from Mordor to trick us all? Nay I say,nay we shall not pay your toll Square Enix

  • Michael Matzat

    Hello, i am Eli, i hate Square games, they are expensive and stupid. Now let me buy and report about that Pokemon companion App that costs 30$ but is awsome because i love pokemon.

  • Benegesserit

    Stopped the video when the guy said the IAP for an environment was $7. Shame on any of you whom buy anything mobile from Square. They are BY FAR the worst offender price-wise in the mobile space and I love how a game literally this stupid (I appreciated the Idiocracy reference in the video) will probably scream huge profits for Square because of rabid blind fanpeople who will empty their wallets regardless of the game's actual value just because it bears the name FF.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      But... It has electrolytes!

  • http://profiles.google.com/superspandy James Kochalka

    I love, love, love the way the game looks. It looks crazy. But I'd like to know, do you actually do anything? Or just watch it?

    Is it kinda like Denpa Men for the 3DS? Because that game's kinda cool.